The UK’s first I-Shift, Dual Clutch equipped Volvo FM tractor unit is ‘King of the Hills’ in Cornwall and Devon -


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Saturday, 27 April 2019

The UK’s first I-Shift, Dual Clutch equipped Volvo FM tractor unit is ‘King of the Hills’ in Cornwall and Devon

Saltash, Cornwall-based, Burcombe Haulage Ltd has put the UK’s first Volvo FM tractor unit fitted with I-Shift Dual Clutch into service. Powered by Volvo’s D13K, Euro-6 engine producing a maximum of 500hp, the unit was also ordered with a Globetrotter Cab and twin fuel tanks that give a total capacity of 645 litres. The 4,000mm wheelbase chassis is also fitted with an air-activated sliding fifth wheel.

Saltash-based, Burcombe Haulage Ltd has put the UK’s first Volvo FM tractor unit with I-Shift Dual Clutch into service.

Justin Fisher, Sales Director at the local Dealerpoint, Stuarts Truck and Bus Ltd, supplied the landmark Volvo FM-500 6x2 Lite pusher axle tractor unit.

Stuart Wilkie, Transport Manager at Burcombe Haulage Ltd. explains, “We operate an existing Volvo FH fitted with I-Shift Dual Clutch and know it shortens journey times with the many gear changes required, crossing the hills of Cornwall and Devon on night trunks. I pressed Justin Fisher to see if we could have the same gearbox in our new FM. He did some research; Volvo responded positively and the truck was built specially.”

“Our new I-Shift Dual Clutch equipped Volvo FM entered service early in the New Year and is double-shifted on a rigorous schedule,” reports Stuart.

Burcombe Haulage’s night trunks are always time critical and the 500hp Volvo FM was carefully specified with a number of factors in mind. Stuart explains, “On night shifts the FM hauls a double deck curtainside trailer for TPN (The Pallet Network) trunking between Saltash and Minworth, near Birmingham. Then during the day, the FM is coupled to a special urban trailer on multi drop, TPN deliveries and collections in Cornwall.”

The FM cab’s modest height and width dimensions also benefit the truck’s day shift, multi-drop, pallet delivery and collections in Cornwall. “Operating on narrower roads, the FM has little in the way of blind spots and its narrower size means less damage from overhanging trees. The driver is also in and out the cab frequently, so the lower floor with easier access is a benefit,” Stuart adds.

The well-planned detail of Burcombe Haulage’s specification does not stop there, as after three years of double shifting, high-mileage operations, the Volvo FM will be moved onto local tipper work. “That explains our decision to opt for Volvo’s factory-fitted Lite axle and we also have power take off preparation to make installation of a hydraulic kit more straightforward,” advises Stuart.

Burcombe Haulage’s FM is finished in a smart, Scarlet Red-coloured livery is complemented by Alcoa Dura-Bright alloys wheels, additional front grille paint detailing and a cherished registration mark. Stuart adds, “Our drivers really love the new FM and we opted for a high specification interior that includes full leather trims, heated and cooled driver’s seat, all within the Globetrotter Cab’s additional space.”

Burcombe Haulage is using Volvo’s Fleet Management System, Dynafleet, to monitor the new FM’s performance standards. As Stuart says, “I’m happy with the fuel consumption figures. The night trunk, pulling a double deck curtainside trailer over hilly terrain, is what it is with diesel use. We have our own workshops and carry out almost all repairs and maintenance works in-house, but the Plymouth dealerpoint of Stuarts Truck and Bus is not far from our Saltash base.”

“I can’t praise Justin Fisher and the Stuarts team enough, they provide a fantastic service for us and we’re happy to continue with that working partnership,” Stuart concludes.

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